Friday, April 24, 2015

Here's what you said about feeling beautiful:

“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." -- Sophia Loren

Back in January, I wrote this blog post about how women can undermine each other when it comes to supporting each other's beauty.

Lately, I keep going back to the concept of beauty and how important it is to so many of us.  I know this, because my clients talk about it all the time.  And, it's important to me, too.

It's a big part of my work to help each woman recognize and nurture the special, unique beauty that is inside herself.  Once she makes friends with her beauty, the outside world gets a chance to see it, too.

I thought it would be fun to ask women of a certain age (some of them friends, some of them fans of The Dynamic Divorcée on Facebook, and some of them clients) what makes them feel beautiful.  Here's some of what they said:
  • An unexpected compliment.
  • Putting a smile on someone else's face.
  • Feeling confident, strong for those around me when they need it, helping animals in need and basking in the joy that is my family.
  • Finding out that I helped someone, taught a class well, and women learned a lot of new things. (I love watching the light bulbs go on over their heads!)
  • A day at the spa.
  • Getting a sincere hug from a family member (chosen or blood).
  • Wearing something new & funky & colorful and receiving positive comments.
  • When I don't care what others think of me.
  • When I let my guard down and just be me.
  • I feel beautiful when I laugh.
  • When I am able to help a friend, I feel beautiful.
  • When I paint my nails a flashy color. 
  • Getting in a good workout to strengthen my body and reset my mind.
  • When I wear nice lingerie.
  • When I feel strong, on the inside or physically.
  • I feel beautiful when I wear heels.
  • When people compliment me cause I am 43yrs old and they think I am in my early 30s.
  • I feel beautiful when I dance salsa, bachata, and flamenco.
  • Pedicure with hot rocks.
  • Night on the town with my girlfriends.
  • Dressing up on the outside makes me feel better on even the worst days.
  • Being able to be myself and having time to explore my interests.
  • A sweet compliment from a friend.
  • Keeping my grey hairs colored.
  • When I wear something (especially crafty jewelry) that has a story to it that connects me to someone, even if that someone is the person who made it.
  • Feeling the sunshine on my face.
  • Pursuing my passions and living with heart, optimism, and compassion.  What's on the inside can't help but be reflected on the outside.

I can't help but draw your attention to the fact that not one person said that a man had to be involved in order for her to feel beautiful.  It really is an inside job!

Looking for a little beauty inspiration?  Try some of the top "I feel beautiful" suggestions on this list.  All the women who contributed to this list send you their love.  Mwah!

Friday, April 17, 2015

eat your way happy

 I've been enjoying some of the youtube videos from Fully Raw Kristina lately.  I don't necessarily endorse eating an extreme raw food diet (personally, if I try to get all my protein from vegetarian or vegan sources, I feel very weak).

But finding ways to include more and more vegetables and fruits in your daily diet will reduce your cravings for dead junk food, and you'll be amazed how quickly it will improve your mood.

Here's a great video from Fully Raw Kristina, with her top suggestions for stress relief and emotional health -- and her top 10 foods to get there.  Don't be scared by Kristina's ravenous expression and what looks like a decadent dessert on the screen shot.  It's a yummy smoothie!  One of the wonderful things about fruits and vegetables is their gorgeous colors and shapes, and how just looking at them can make you feel happy.  Check it out:



And, a few of my own tips:
  • Be brave, and try a 7-day challenge to avoid your personal top 3 junk foods that calm you only for the few seconds it takes to eat them, and then make you feel even more sluggish and lifeless.
  • Try replacing your major offenders with some of Kristina's picks from the video (lots more in the video above, but here are 5 of her top 10 foods for stress relief):
  1. Greens and salads.  (Yes, really.  Come on, have you actually tried this?)
  2. Bananas.  (Kristina says that they alleviate depression.  I say that even though bananas are a higher-calorie fruit, a banana has fewer calories than a soda or candy bar and is more filling.)
  3. Crunchy veggies.  (Kristina says these give you something to gnaw on in place of crunchy, overly salty snacks.  I say -- those salty snacks make you feel bloated and edgy!  Remember, they only feel good while you're scarfing them down, and then, you feel just yuck.)
  4. Watermelon or other hydrating juicy fruits.  (Kristina says that juicy fruits, and especially watermelon, help to restore your body when feeling exhausted.)
  5. Cucumber or zucchini slices spritzed with lemon juice.  (Cooling, hydrating, and relaxing.  Kristina links to a video to make a yummy-looking zucchini pasta.  I say:  Just the scent of cucumber is so relaxing.  Put a couple of slices -- without the lemon juice -- on your eyes, too, and say ahhhhhh.)
I have my own youtube channel with videos from some of my favorite luminaries and their techniques that I've used and are great for your divorce-recovery toolkit -- but beware, there's a lot of yoga and other concepts here that some of you may find pretty woo-woo.  Hey, it can't hurt to try!  Find my channel here.

UPDATE 5.7.15:  Yesterday Kristina posted this poem/motivational talk about getting through dark times by choosing to be happy.  It seems to be a response to haters, and I think it's especially appropriate for my divorcees.  Watch and feel uplifted (and remember, it's not about eating a raw diet, it's about making choices that support you):


Friday, April 10, 2015

mad or sad about your divorce? how frowning makes it worse (and an easy acupressure technique makes it better)

These two acupressure points will help you
feel calm and able to cope.

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that I've already written about how your facial expression can actually teach your emotions how to feel better.  Your body posture can do the same thing, too.

Research has proven that not only do your emotions affect your facial expressions, but the reverse is also true. Read about the power of smiling here.

Your posture, too, has a powerful affect on the level of confidence you feel and how that projects to others in your world.  Research shows it takes only two minutes to change from passive to powerful.  Find out how you can do this here.

Just as research has shown that smiling causes you to see the world in a more optimistic and positive light, a down-turned mouth causes your emotions to be more negative -- as does frowning.

Here's a very simple practice that targets something that happens to so many of us when daily life is not something we look forward to:  habitual frowning (those lines between the eyebrows), which causes a facial expression of tension and anger.

If you've taken my Invisible to Irresistible 2-hour experience, you know that we talk about how your facial expression is key to how others perceive you, and whether you attract or repel people who cross your path.

Let's release those scary facial expressions and allow beauty, love, and happiness into our lives.

Try this simple technique:
Press firmly, but gently, with one finger on the two points dotted in red in the photo above.  Hold  until you feel a pulse under your fingers, or a slight relaxing of the facial muscles.  If you're like me, you'll feel more relaxed and at peace almost instantly.

For added results, you can use only your index or ring finger to apply the pressure.

Why choose one of those two fingers?
Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga, and many other ancient systems of healing believe that each finger is ruled by a different planet.  And each planet imparts a different energy.

Your index finger is ruled by the planet Jupiter, which is the guru planet, the planet of success, expansive energy, and optimism.

Your ring finger is ruled by the Sun, imparting warmth, happiness, and illumination.

Experiment with applying pressure using the index finger.  Then, try the ring finger.  See which one has the most profound affect on you.  Maybe you like both, but each one feels different.  You can choose which finger to use based on the kind of relief or good feeling that you need most on a given day.

You can activate both facial points at the same time by using the index or ring finger of one hand for the third eye point, and the same finger of the other hand for the chin point.

This is wonderful to do while you're still lying in bed first thing in the morning, if you're feeling depressed and sluggish.  You can also use this technique at work, by placing your elbows on your desk and relaxing your neck forward, with your fingers touching the acupressure points.

And, as a bonus, when you look in the mirror afterwards, you'll look so much more relaxed, and even younger and fresher.

For more about relaxing your face (and transforming your mood) through acupressure, see yogapuncture.org  and thebeautybean.com.

Stay on this page, try it now, and comment about how it works for you!

Friday, April 3, 2015

in praise of Betty Grable (or, how to be unflappable, no matter what those goofy men may do)

Betty Grable dispenses with rival Mitzi Gaynor.
Some of you may know that I keep a "Taking Your Mind Off Your Divorce" board on Pinterest, where I post free-to-view movies (mostly old ones from the 1930s-50s) that I think might be of interest to divorcing women (or at least fun to watch).

Lately, I've been on a Betty Grable jag.  You know how it goes:  You watch one movie, and then do a little online research on it, discover another old movie star you're not familiar with, pull up some movies with her in it . . . .

Betty Grable surprised me.  I'd only heard of her as the World War II pin-up girl, and had no idea what sort of movies she had appeared in.  I was surprised.

Sure, they're mostly frothy movie musicals, but, in the ones I've seen, she's almost always spunky, self-confident, unflappable, and just won't be thrown off her center by a man -- no matter whether it's a chauvinistic boss or an about-to-cheat spouse.

She never takes the bait.  (And that's one quality that, in my experience, always gets the respect of men.  All men.  The ones who deserve our respect.  And even the ones who don't.)

Here's my favorite scene from My Blue Heaven, in which Grable walks in while teenaged vixen Mitzi Gaynor is in the process of seducing Grable's husband (played by frequent co-star Dan Dailey).  Grable is cool as a cucumber.  In case this movie starts to play from the beginning, cue up to 1:13:30 to see the scene (it's worth it):



Scenes like this, in which Grable sweetly and confidently deals with the men in her pictures -- without making the mistake of taking her men too seriously and getting sucked into jealousy, pleading, crying, and trying to reason with them -- are just wonderful. Definitely something I'll be trying myself next time the need arises. Now I understand what Gramma meant when she said, "Don't lower yourself to their level."